Friday, August 08, 2008

Positive Secular encouragement

Unlike the religious world, which tends to put women into a specific small box (You're a homeschooling homemaker, preferably with no college education, and you have a perfect house, family, menu, car, marriage, health and figure. If you're not, we don't want to hear it. And if you don't hide it well enough we will call you apostate and kick you out of our perfect church.) the secular world tends toward practical encouragement for all of a woman's choices. I've found women who don't put their mythology first and foremost to be far more understanding of the trickier times in life, like when you have to work and raise kids, or take care of elders as well as try to homeschool kids, or have health problems. Or just feel tired or burned out or confused. See, we don't consider bad times a sign of sin, or being non-elect, or being on the wrong side of a mythic deity. We just see them as part of life, things that can happen to any of us at any time, and that it makes the world a better place if we help each other along the way.

To that end, and to counter the negative vibe this place tends to take on at times, I'd like to present from time to time, some of my favorite, secular, homemaking information sources. And here are two:

1) The Vicky & Jen show. Talk about a positive, encouraging hour of listening. Recent topics include :
They also feature The Big O series, with organizing expert Monica Ricci and the Ask-A-Chef series with Chef Devin Alexander. Fabulous, wonderful stuff, all of it. It does come with commercials, but no one ever crumbled from a ten second commercial for paper towels or breakfast cereal. And their theme music is a bit depressing, although not offensive and she does have a lovely voice. You can even subscribe in iTunes and listen while you do your chores. Highly recommended.

2) Tips and articles on how to clean your house, organize your kitchen, deal with clutter and the kids and even how to set up a household notebook. Without bible quotes no less! And their sister site, OrganizedChristmas, is the best thing ever to help you survive the holidays.

For example, ever notice how some years it seems like there's no time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and sometimes Christmas runs awfully late? That's because Thanksgiving is a floating holiday, the last Thursday in November. So depending on how the weeks fall you can have anywhere from three to five weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. How big of a pain is that to organize? Either you have to cram everything in, or it all drags on and you don't have enough to keep the kids happy. Well, here's a tip I learned from that site: Christmas is a fixed holiday, it's always on the 25th. What's the first fixed holiday before it? Yep, Halloween, on October 31st. Starting your organizing on the 1st of November gives you exactly 8 weeks to work with every time. For more great tips, and a Christmas binder too, check the site.

3) Doc's Secular Homeschool Resources - A set of homeschool plans and resources set in the reality based community. Excellent resources for those who want to explore different cultures, find evolutionary theory to be true, recognize that the world existed before the bible, and want their children to function in all of modern society. She unschooled her four, now happy, functional adult children, which isn't something the husband and I plan to do, but I can't deny the results. Fantastic stuff for all kinds of homeschoolers.

Hope this helps. I'll keep adding stuff as I find it